Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Power to the people

Posted by occidentprone on June 16, 2008

The most recent developments in the gas crisis are that WA unions are appealing for help for workers laid off because of the debacle and that shopping centres are meeting to discuss ways to cut power. 

I can see these lines meeting in the distance should you continue their logic to the horizon: More people lose their jobs, fewer people go shopping, then most people hurt directly or indirectly because of the power fiasco and no people go shopping. Problems solved.

Apache Energy, which owns the plant that exploded on June 2 — causing the gas crisis — said the resumption of any supplies from Varanus Island were still a couple of months away.

The explosion wiped out a third of WA’s gas supply, in turn cutting electricity supplies. It has also reduced the production of ammonia, from which carbon dioxide is refined.

Apache managing director Tim Wall said the company had the piping material needed for the repairs and more than 140 people would be working on repairs by next week. (Source: The West Australian)

Fairfax’s WA Today reports that the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates 14% of 83 companies it has surveyed may shut down or will be shutting down soon.

WA Premier, Alan Carpenter, said businesses which switched from gas-fired electricity to diesel fired electricity will face far higher electricity costs. “Diesel-fired electricity is far more expensive than gas-fired electricity, so businesses will be making the decision as to whether the increased cost they are going to have to pay for energy warrants them shutting down for a while, or scaling down their production for a while, or standing down their staff for a while,” he said.

… “It’s taken a while for the impact to wash through, but it’s really coming upon us now, economically. This week, I think will be very difficult.”

(Notice Carpenter’s own energiser bunny Fran Logan seems to be pushed from the stage and the premier is the spokesman on all things gassy.)

The upshot is when will we consumers see the upshot? There are various economic calculations which use the words ‘trickle’ and other tricky theories but my guess is in a few months, prices go up – simple as that.

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2 Responses to “Power to the people”

  1. Retarius said

    This crisis is the final proof that the gas supply industrymust be completely privatised! Oh, sorry..yes…that’s been done, hasn’t it?

  2. occidentprone said

    I thought they were splitting WA’s electricity into four – not shattering it.

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